At the end of 2017, YouTube launched the first beta of its future feature, Reels. While the first thing that may come to mind when reading this name is Meta‘s short video feature, the truth is that YouTube’s feature is… well… essentially a fusion of these and Instagram Stories. Short-duration videos that creators can share to update their followers and that disappear after a certain period of time.
If, up until now, you have used YouTube with the same frequency as the person writing these lines (a lot), you’re probably wondering, “Did that even exist?” And that’s precisely the key to the news we bring you today: YouTube has announced that it will end its Reels feature on June 26, after 5 and a half years of existence.
Its major problem? Well, nobody used this feature. That’s it. To sum it up: not everyone could use this function, the creators who could barely used it, YouTube never promoted it, and, to make matters worse, Shorts practically serve the same purpose, except they are not temporary videos.
In this way, YouTube wants content creators who made use of this feature (yes, all four of them) to now utilize both Shorts and the Community tab posts. While Shorts allows creators to upload short vertical videos that are easily consumable, Community tab posts enable the creation of text-based updates where they can include images, videos, GIFs, and even set a time limit for them to disappear later.
Honestly, I’m not sure how this feature managed to survive for such a long time. While the Stories format is hugely popular on social media, not all platforms are suitable for implementing it. This is something that Twitter itself discovered three years ago with Fleets, its own Stories feature, which lasted less than a moment due to, unsurprisingly, its minimal usage.
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